Reflections on dual authorship

I want to thank Matt for pointing out the aspect of dual authorship in Matthew. This is a great illustration that clearly notes the unique specificity that the Lord used in communicating His word. A question that is not unrelated to this is over the agency by which the writers of Scripture delivered the divine message. A key passage on this is 2 Peter 1:19-21. Here are a few thoughts:

2 Peter 1:19-21 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

The first issue to be settled is the use of the phrase “word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19). There are typically two views which can be seen in the following translations. I lean toward the comparative view and would be interested if someone takes the confirmative position.

2 Peter 1:19 καὶ ἔχομεν βεβαιότερον τὸν προφητικὸν λόγον, ᾧ καλῶς ποιεῖτε προσέχοντες ὡς λύχνῳ φαίνοντι ἐν αὐχμηρῷ τόπῳ, ἕως οὗ ἡμέρα διαυγάσῃ καὶ φωσφόρος ἀνατείλῃ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν,

1) Comparative: “more sure” is attributive, meaning that the prophetic word is “more sure” than the eye witnesses. (Warfield, Alford, KJV, ESV)

ESV 2 Peter 1:19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

KJV 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

2) Confirmative: “more sure” is predicate, meaning that prophecy is made “more sure” by the eyewitnesses. (Meyer, Lenski, NASB)

NAS 2 Peter 1:19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

Secondly, this passage speaks to the origin of Scripture in verse 20. Prophecy is revelation from God communicated by prophets to man, i.e. man did not “unloose” prophecy (ἐπιλύσεως = “unloosing/origin,” often translated as “interpretation” or “explanation”).

2 Peter 1:20 τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες ὅτι πᾶσα προφητεία γραφῆς ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως οὐ γίνεται·

Finally, we should note the meaning of “moved” by the Holy Spirit in verse 21. The human authors were “moved” by the Holy Spirit which is seen in φερόμενοι which is a present passive participle (ongoing continuous action on someone by someone else; i.e. the Holy Spirit upon the prophet).

2 Peter 1:21 οὐ γὰρ θελήματι ἀνθρώπου ἠνέχθη προφητεία ποτέ, ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ πνεύματος ἁγίου φερόμενοι (ppp-nmp) ἐλάλησαν ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἄνθρωποι.

In some respects it is impossible to explain exactly how this took place. We see both elements of providence and elements of the miraculous. Although dictation is involved at times, it is not dictation in the strictest sense. The result is that the human authors’ writings are truly the words of man and the words of God. We can understand the truth of the statements we have made and we can also affirm them, but that does not mean that we can fully comprehend them!

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One response to this post.

  1. Nice talk! Keep it up

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